Edward Timpson, Minister for Vulnerable Children and Families, is supporting National Adoption Week, which runs from October 17 to October 23. Today he wrote for the Daily Mirror about growing up with two adopted brothers and why you should support National Adoption Week this week.
The need to find families for some of the most vulnerable children in our country is at the heart of this year’s National Adoption Week campaign, and as someone who grew up not only with two adopted brothers, but over 80 foster siblings too, I know first-hand just how rewarding the experience of welcoming children into your home can be.
It isn’t just life-changing for the child, but for the whole family. While I can’t imagine my own family when I was growing up to be any other way, I’m sure that I wouldn’t be doing the job I do today if it wasn’t for these early experiences I had growing up.
That’s not to say it wasn’t hard at times. When I think back to my own childhood sometimes I just wanted my parents all to myself and it was hard to learn to share them. But even though I may have had a slightly unorthodox upbringing, I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Because it’s fair to say that my childhood has shaped the work that I do now as a Minister. It has given me a deep desire to make sure that children growing up in care, as well as those who are adopted, should have the best possible support we can offer.
My motto is that if it’s not good enough for your own child, then it isn’t good enough for children in care. And for those who are adopted, some will have been through terrible ordeals that won’t simply disappear once they have settled with their new families – so it’s our duty to support them.
Children like the five-year-old little girl who was found abandoned at two days old in a school bag wrapped in a cardigan. She was later adopted, but needed specialist support as she learned to deal with and accept her difficult start in life. That’s why we launched the Adoption Support Fund, to help children and families like this. I know this little girl’s family used the fund to get the support that ultimately gave her a fresh start and helped her to bond with her family. With the right help, children and families can embrace the new life ahead of them.
And everyone has a part to play. That’s why I urge you to support adoption this week. You may not intend to adopt yourself but you could know someone who is considering giving a vulnerable child a loving home. So, take a moment to talk to them about it – you might just change a child’s life forever.
And, to anyone who has adopted a child from care, I want to thank you personally for the commitment and love you bring to parenting some of our most vulnerable children.
Let’s give them your support, however we can. Let’s #SupportAdoption together.
For more information on adoption visit www.gov.uk/child-adoption